Softball in Kansas

by Barb
(Topeka, Kansas)

The article above is not kidding when it talks about managing the parents on a softball team. From my experiences in Topeka, I’ve had all sorts of reactions from parents about their children’s involvement with the team. Some parents drop their children off and never get out of the car, and other parents are frequent visitors. It is really important to try and support the child regardless of the parent’s involvement. It is the child who will take away memories. They will remember your guidance and advice, and will know how to play softball lifelong because of the way you showed them. I had a girl years later tell me she still reminded herself to stand the way I taught her, even though she was only tossing a plastic ball to her 6 year old son!

Children remember positive interactions with adults long after you will, so try to appease the parents, and definitely balance their needs with the needs of your players.

Rudeness is out, even if someone is rude to you. You have to learn to keep your tongue in check and restrain yourself from speaking sarcastically to a parent even if they are doing that to you. It solves nothing, it only makes it worse and can really damage your opportunity to make a positive impact on that child. Your team could be ruined if you lose your patience and get the parents to start forming an angry mob. You might end up with people swinging pitchforks instead of bats!

Take my advice and remember that it is about teaching, more than winning, more than anything else.

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Softball In Des Moines
by: Anonymous

I feel ya on this point. Sometimes the hardest opart of teaching a kid to be a better fundimental player is driving the point into the head of the parents who think you have no clue what you are doing. You will never ever even under the best coaching circumstances, please every parent. If you try you run around in circles on never accomplish anything. I start the season with a parents contract they all must sign. It simply states what they can expect from me on and off the field. It states what I expect from their child when on the field. It outlines exceptable behaviors of the parents when talking to the kids about the team. It covers what is expected of the parents on and off the field. It is perfect but it is effective to controling some attitudes. I do agree if you are coaching to win you have dropped the ball with your team. As a coach going into my eleventh year it is tough to not want to win, win, win, but I always try my hardest to impact the player. Coach the whole kid not just the player. Sometimes the only good example is the one we demonstrate.

Good luck.

Todd Cosner

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